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What is the best version of BASIC for the ST for general purpose questions?

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I've become interested in programming on the ST, and I'm looking for some recommendations as to what is the best general purpose programming version of BASIC that I can use.

 

Also, if there are any recommendations around possible alternatives to BASIC, I'd be happy to hear your opinions.

 

Thanks all.

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I've become interested in programming on the ST, and I'm looking for some recommendations as to what is the best general purpose programming version of BASIC that I can use.

 

Also, if there are any recommendations around possible alternatives to BASIC, I'd be happy to hear your opinions.

 

Thanks all.

I am not really a programmer, but I dislike C (and relatives) and learned to enjoy Niklaus Wirth's languages in school, of which Modula-2 gained the most popularity on the ST (Oxyd e.g. was programmed in Modula-2).

 

Megamax Modula-2 is available for free from Thomas Tempelmann's site.

 

Here in Germany, GFA BASIC was the most successful and thus best supported version of BASIC, but I always admired the more system compliant approach of HiSoft BASIC.

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I would go with GFA Basic; fast, popular, compile-able, re-usable libraries, clean syntax, lots of example code, no line numbers and English documentation. It became popular in the UK too; version 3.5 was even given away with ST Format in June 1992.

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What kind of applications are you interested in programming? If it's games, like platformers, you'll probably have to deal with C and Assembly. Anything else and you might find those others easier to learn and have more success.

Edited by Justin Payne
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Thanks for the suggestions so far, I do have a version of Hisoft and GFA, and I'm keen to look at whatever is well documented, so GFA sounds good. I'm not specifically looking to program games, just to look at utilities and get my head around some simple stuff, utilities maybe.

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GFA would probably be easier and you can also use .RSC files for GEM interfacing, plus there a loads of source code to learn from...

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If you are decided on avoiding C, and are leaning toward a BASIC derivative, GFA BASIC is almost certainly the right call. In addition to those reasons cited by the others, I would mention that this forum enjoys the company of some seriously accomplished GFA programmers. You are certain to get some seriously excellent support for your efforts if you go that way.

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What kind of applications are you interested in programming? If it's games, like platformers, you'll probably have to deal with C and Assembly. Anything else and you might find those others easier to learn and have more success.

 

That is absolutely not true though. Take a look at Roger and r0x, both games written with GFA, GFA has a very good optimizing compiler as LP can attest. By the time the language becomes the bottleneck in your programming, you are going to be doing great things already.

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I'm hitting this thread really late. ;)

 

Even though HiSoft BASIC appears system compliant on the surface, it will break under MiNT and the compile option will be completely borked. At one point I bought HiSoft v2 but that was a deal breaker, I was hooked on multi-tasking, so I went right back to GFA. In all fairness the GFA editor also doesn't do well under MiNT, however there is a patch for the original GFA editor. No doubt GFA has better support.

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Has anyone ever tried LDW Basic? How does that compare to GFA?

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Compiled ST Basic? Sign me up already!

 

...but oh jeez, the licensing fees would drive me bankrupt :P.

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I've become interested in programming on the ST, and I'm looking for some recommendations as to what is the best general purpose programming version of BASIC that I can use.

 

Also, if there are any recommendations around possible alternatives to BASIC, I'd be happy to hear your opinions.

 

Thanks all.

GFA was really popular, but for game programming, seemed that STOS Basic was even more popular.

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What kind of applications are you interested in programming? If it's games, like platformers, you'll probably have to deal with C and Assembly. Anything else and you might find those others easier to learn and have more success.

 

As a language, C really is not that much more difficult to learn than structured basic and the speed benefits are amazing.

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